Nipah virus panic: Scientists scramble for vaccine to fight disease – bioterrorism alert

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So far there is no treatment or vaccine to combat the agonising effects of Nipah virus. However, biotech company Moderna is currently using mRNA technology to create a vaccine for the Nipah virus. The mRNA technique has been called advanced “21st-century science” by experts.

This unproven technology, named messenger RNA delivers genetic instructions into the heart of human cells, it is the base process behind the current Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines.

In mid-January Modern got approval to develop a vaccine for Nipah virus that has occurred in India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Moderna described the virus as, “a zoonotic virus transmitted to humans from animals, contaminated food, or through direct human-to-human transmission and causes a range of illnesses including fatal encephalitis.”

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel in a statement made in January said: “The uniquely challenging year of 2020 for all of society proved to be an extraordinary proof-of-concept period for Moderna.

“Even as we have shown that our mRNA-based vaccine can prevent COVID-19, this has encouraged us to pursue more-ambitious development programs within our prophylactic vaccines modality.”

Moderna then said that they are currently in Phase 1 clinical trials for a Nipah vaccine program.

The deadly Nipah virus has been listed in the ‘C’ category of possible bioterrorism agents.

Category C of the US Bioterrorism Agents List contains emerging deadly pathogens that could cause mass panic and illness in the future because of their “potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact”.

Pathogens such as the Nipah virus are included on the list because of their “ease of production and dissemination”.

Another infectious disease on the list is hantavirus, which also has a “high mortality (death) and high morbidity (disease)” rate.

The Nipah virus is a deadly virus that can be spread between animals and humans.

This zoonotic pathogen initially caused symptoms like fever, headaches, muscle pain.

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But it then progresses into vomiting, respiratory distress, encephalitis, and seizures due to brain swelling.

People infected with the virus can slip into a coma within the first 48 hours after exposure.

The virus emerged from large bats commonly called fruit bats or flying foxes.

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